I don’t think I’ll ever do conventional charcoal barbeque/grilling again.  Cooking on top of the cheminea with a bed of flaming hardwood embers amounts to charbroiling–it’s totally unique.

For one, the  fragrance of the hardwood fire is more seductive than an ordinary barbeque fire, especially once the meat starts cooking.  (Secret: For a really aromatic fire, mix in some pieces of Pecan wood with the Oak!).

And as much as the aroma is more seductive to the palate, the amount of smoke in the process is much less than a closed-pit barbeque.  The idea with the cheminea is to get the fire hot (because the meat is farther  from the flames), and a hot fire is almost smokeless because the wood is burning rather than smoldering (as in a barbeque pit).  I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping the fire regulated (You can definitely overdo the flames, unless you like charred to a crisp more than well-done.)

Notice Sadie the Dog in the backdrop of this photo.  She was hopeful she’d get a morsel, but alas, t’was none to be had for the  puppy dogs.  But I did let her lick my paper plate before I threw it away.